Libya Rebels Reject Another Peace Plan, Vow New Offensive

Calls for Peace a 'Non-Starter' for NATO-Backed Rebels

by Jason Ditz, July 03, 2011

The East Libyan rebel governemnt has again rejected an international attempt at brokering a ceasefire in the war-torn nation, saying any peace talks were a “non-starter” unless they pledged to guarantee the ouster of Moammar Gadhafi and all members of his “inner circle.”

The plan, being pushed by the African Union, would include an immediate ceasefire and the deployment of a United Nations “peacekeeping” force to assure that neither side returned to hostilities. It also would have Gadhafi staying out of the transition talks.

At the same time, it pledged that AU member nations would not execute the ICC arrest warrant against Gadhafi and did not take any position of his long-term future, leaving it apparently up to the transition talks to sort out. Rebels said this was unacceptable, though the regime was reportedly willing to accept the terms.

It is not simply a matter of terms for many rebels, however, as they are promising yet another massive offensive, backed by NATO air strikes and using French-supplied weapons, aimed at adding to their territorial positions. Though they seem quite hopeful about the effort, it is worth noting that every major offensive of the past several months has failed to move the de facto borders between Gadhafian Libya and East Libya in any meaningful way.

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